Consistency is key to progress, it’s as simple as that. Whether you want to get fit, learn a new language, cook amazing meals or travel the world, there is no doubt that being consistent is part of the solution. Progress is made when someone, or a group of someones, make a conscious effort to repeatedly complete a particular task, or tasks.

So why is being consistent at things such a big deal? Well, a simple example would be brushing your teeth. If you decided one day, for instance, to stop brushing your teeth, then eventually you would get cavities or worse. The same is true for all other areas of your life that matter to you. If you care about your girlfriend, boyfriend, or spouse, but don’t spend any time really showing them, how is that relationship going to turn out? By constantly showing that person that you love them, the relationship will naturally gravitate towards growth and happiness.

One of the top priorities many people have is a need for progress. Anyone who has achieved some level of success knows that consistency is a main principle behind their small wins and big victories. If everyday you spent just one hour reading a book, meditating, or exercising, then in a week you’d notice a difference in your life. In a month you’d feel accomplished and energized, and if for a whole year you stayed the course in any area of life, then you would be forever changed to some extent. Consistency enables us to galvanize better habits, it gives us an opportunity to change who we are to who we want to be, and it awards us our wildest dreams and expectations.

Try not getting overwhelmed with the idea of doing things everyday, sometimes you’ll slip, what’s important is that you continue being driven even after a rough day. Remember to take things one day at a time, maintaining repetition takes time and practice, it goes hand in hand with building good habits, both require effort. The good news is that as you gain some consistency in different areas of your life they will seem to become easier and easier to maintain. Time will begin to appear more abundantly and you can focus your increased attention on other aspects of your life.

As with anything, being consistent can be a terribly bad practice as well, it all depends on what you’re consistent with. Binge eating and drinking a case of beer everyday might give you cardiovascular disease or liver damage, obviously not a goal to strive towards. If there are patterns in your life that you know are hurting you physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, or whatever, change them immediately! There is no time to waste on activities that don’t serve to build you up. I’m not saying to skip drinking with your buddies for the rest of your life, but if you’re at the bar every single day maybe it’s time for some self-reflection and internal dialect. Consistency is a phenomenal tool for your overall success, but it must be positive, and it must serve your bigger vision.

How do you adjust if you find there are a few repetitive pitfalls plaguing your day to day? First things first, breathe. Don’t let life topple your high spirits because you’re overanalyzing your situation in life. Everything can be remedied, and if you have some bad habits, then take the first step and pick one singular item to change. You will find that as you focus on that one item or task that it diminishes in terms of priority of your concern. Remember, the tortoise wins the race, so take it slow and create structure in your life that will help you to manifest your dreams and ambitions.

If you’re still confused as to what to do next, I would suggest writing down five things that you do consistently which help you on your journey and five things that you do consistently which you would prefer you didn’t because they hinder your progress. Then, pick the one on each list that matters most to you right now, and focus all of your attention on maintaining progress through some level of repetition. Do this for a few weeks to a month and then move onto the next one. Before you know it, you will be flying!